The road to HOYS with Sam Roberts

Hi Everyone,

My name is Sam Roberts and I am a rider and producer of horses – in particular I specialise in native ponies. I feed my yard on a range of Balanced Horse Feeds, which I have done for quite a few years and genuinely believe their food is brilliant.

I am very excited to have six ponies competing at the Horse of the Year Show at the beginning of October at the NEC.

I have a New Forest , Welsh A, B, C and 2 Dartmoor ponies all competing in the Mountain & Moorland classes .

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing with you my diary of what I am up to each week in the run up to HOYS. This will cover all the work involved, from grooming and riding, to practice outings and fitness. Everything I will be doing to ensure each pony (and myself) are prepared for this big occasion.

3 weeks to go !

Wow, in the blink of an eye the season has flown past. We are so lucky to have qualified six ponies for HOYS, with several other ponies who very narrowly missed out on qualifying , although I am sure they dont mind having a nice holiday and getting hairy!

All the entries have been done and finalised. Little details like checking the  vaccination certificates are correct, JMB Measuring has also all been done, as well as working out the logistics of getting ponies there, making sure we have the correct amount of tickets, stables, etc. Over the next few weeks we’ve got a lot to cram in!

We have British Dressage National Championships with another pony, a couple of shows and pre HOYS practise as four of our team are first timers to the show. We like to give them the opportunity to experience indoor schools and some atmosphere as some of them may have only been indoors once or twice in their life and certainly not since March/April!

Then there is the clipping dilemma to think about. We are desperately trying to convince them the summer is still here and they do not want to grow any coat! Easier said than done with native ponies, they’re not silly and know the daylight hours are shortening.

The Farrier has been organised so they will have new shoes/ feet trimmed with enough time just incase of any emergencies. As well as working out an individual work plan so that they arrive for the day fresh, fit and ready. I like to do this as all my ponies are different and some will need more fitness work; to tone them up. Others need a bit more schooling, others can hack lots to keep them happy and interested. All my ponies get turned out daily as I believe they really enjoy being mud monsters and living a natural life. I am not such a fan of brushing all that mud and dust off them daily though, as I end up with more dust, hair and mud on me!

Look forward to keeping you posted with my diary next week.


behind the ears
Some are in need of some mane care